Saturday, September 15, 2012

Production week of The Flying Dutchman

I cannot believe our premiere Wagner production launches next weekend! We believe Wagner will nod approval from whatever realm his own ghost happens to be wandering...

Here's what his statue looks like in Venice, the city where "the master" died.

My faithful companion, Mini-Richard accompanied me to another screening of the classic film version of The Flying Dutchman at the Taubman Museum. Like his operatic nephew, Billy Budd he's playing the part of a proud foretopman atop our newly arrived TFD t-shirts (designed my stepdaughter, Jessica Davis).

In a case of Opera Roanoke trivia and / or "meaningful coincidence," Billy Budd is Britten's opus 50. Our principal guest conductor, Steven White celebrates his 50th birthday next Sunday, the day of our matinee (and final) performance of The Flying Dutchman. Billy Budd was Steven's most recent conducting assignment at the Metropolitan Opera (I wrote about a performance of it I attended with Steven backstage last May as he and I continued our work on OR's Wagner production. Inquiring minds can see the posts below from a wonderful week in NYC at the Met as their 2011-12 season came to a grand conclusion).

Here is one of the Taubman museum's great landscape paintings in its American Galleries permanent collection. This is William Bradford's 1875 nautical canvas, The Voyage of the Polaris. The arctic setting makes it a perfect companion for the Northern European sea setting of the ships in The Flying Dutchman.

Our set is being loaded into Shaftman Performance Hall at the Jefferson Center as I write this. Here is a sketch of the main deck of our Norwegian schooner, courtesy of our design team, Jimmy Ray and Laurie Powell Ward.

Our first rehearsal on stage is tomorrow evening, September 16. I'm slated to be a guest on the WDBJ7 Morning Show Monday (from 5 - 7 am) where we'll unveil the set as a teaser before next Friday's opening night. Don't miss this fabulous operatic ship before it sails away!

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